The CMS plans to expand Medicare coverage of PET to include its use as a diagnostic tool for certain patients with suspected Alzheimer's disease. PET, or positron emission tomography, would be covered when a specific diagnosis remains uncertain after a thorough clinical evaluation of the patient. Medicare also would cover PET in clinical trials on patients with early dementia or unexpected memory loss. However, an expert panel suggested that evidence supporting the value of PET in early diagnosis of cognitive impairment is limited, and the panel expressed concern about potential overuse of the technology, the CMS said. Separately, the CMS will collaborate with the National Institutes of Health to develop further evidence on the appropriate role of PET in planning treatment and predicting the course of Alzheimer's. The CMS is accepting public comment on its draft decision until July 15 and will publish its final decision by Sept. 15. Read the draft decision. -- by Cinda Becker
CMS to cover PET for some Alzheimer's diagnoses
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